“Sweet Little Lies,” the theme song to the new feature film, A Familiar Lie (One Shot Films), embodies a raw melody, that takes you on a rhythmic journey of rags to riches. The song starts with a powerful spoken word statement that penetrates the soul:
It’s really all just like a familiar lie.
You know it’s like any dream un-lived or un-fulfilled is really a lie. But it’s like you got to lie to yourself to get to the dream because the dream ain’t even here yet, it ain’t even real. Yeah that’s how it is for all of those in the struggle.
“It just sets the listener up for what’s going on in my mind,” says Shyan. “It’s a form of foreplay to the drama in the song, or the movie taken place in my soul when I heard the beat and mixed it with the storyline of the film”
It’s no accident that the instrumental slowly crescendos as Shyan spits knowledge in the intro monologue, as if those 30 seconds you transcend into an underground club and this particular evening is poetry night.
There are plenty of dramatic theatrics in the song taking the listener into all the emotions displayed in the film: that impulse of hustling to provide, wanting the finer things in life, jealousy and backstabbing. Iconic themes that really are at the core of hip hop music. But, like most of Shyan Selah’s catalog, “Sweet little lies” transcends hip hop.
The echos of the chorus over the drums:”
“Hustle til my soul’s on the cross, blood on the floor and my spirit rise/
Feel my spirit rise…”
This stirs up so many emotions of determination, to do what you have to do no matter what; not giving up because failure is like almost like dying, but what worse is not trying at all.
“Really it’s just about desire,” adds Shyan. “The desire and relentless passion it takes to get what you want, to defy the odds, smash through obstacles and dare to be something in this life. This song is about the journey to winning and the beautiful yet sometimes heartbreaking things that come with it.”
From the fluidity in the chorus to the bridge the lyrics continue to be heavily weighted in magnitude. Although we are in the 2020 the edginess takes you back to 1990, 30 years ago when rap and true R&B took off on the scene and into the mainstream market. You can hear influences from Ray Charles in Shyan’s’ voice, giving you unedited raw vocals with a hint of raspy vibrato.
Music has always been more than entertainment. It’s provided connection, community and healing. In hindsight everything about this track now is as applicable 30 years ago as it is today. Shyan’s statement,“Its like Dr. King never happened” validates the hurt wounds we all feel because of so much that is happening in our world; while still showing we are not alone in how we feel. The verses are poetry of inspiration and realness, heart with determination.
Listening to the treble cliff climbing to higher vibrations throughout the entire track reminding you of the blind faith and perseverance that will reap its rewards. You feel the grit of the hustle, young love and always wanting to make someone smile. This is an affirmation & declaration to anyone who has felt defeat along their path.
All of us had to tell a “Sweet Little Lie” not to hurt the we ones love but too protect them. A theme so relatable it’s really an anthem having you listen to it on repeat!
Listen to “Sweet Little Lies below:”